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October 03, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-03

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Page 4-Wednesday, October 3, 1979-The Michigan Daily

.

Ninet y'Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXX, No. 24 NewsPhone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
Bo must behave

School Board must bury Black
English rift to benefit students

A CROSS THE midwest, from East
Lansing to Madison, from Ann
Arbor to Lafayette, college football has
become more than just another game.
It is a tradition, an event, an outlet for
the emotional needs of today's college
students. And it is'fun.
But sometimes it gets out of hand.
Woody Hayes never seemed to under-
stand that. For years, he kicked yar-
dline markers, hit television
cameramen, and simply made a fool
of himself in the lockerroom and in
front of the press. He embarrassed his
school, Ohio State University, and em-
barrassed the sport until his final
childish act cost him his job when he
punched a player on an opposing team
. last year.
His departure - was a big step for
college football as it cleansed the great
sport of its worst symbol. The man
from Columbus resembled everything
wrong with college football-the
bickering, complaining and physical
assault-while doing very little to
enhance the, sport's deteriorating

why Bo push
he's been un
of pressure.
out of its fir
setback was
Dame - but
in each gam
better than p
the offense a
lot to be des
pure embarr
In addition
a lot on his
confrontation
Spartans is o
a loss in E
ceivably put
twenty and a
But these
member of ti
nothing to p
simply doing
questions ab
essing probl(
ploded.
During hi
Schembechl

ed the reporter. After all,
der a tremendous amount
His team has won three
st four games - the only
a 12-10 decision to Notre
has given a poor showing
e. The defense has played
)ast Wolverine squads, but
nd kicking game has left a
sired. In fact, it's been a
assment.
, the Wolverine coach has
mind this week. The big
n with the Michligan State
only three days away, and
East Lansing could con-
Bo's squad out of the top
nother trip to Pasadena.
are no excuses to shove a
he media who it seems did}
rovoke him. He was just
g his job, asking probing
bout the team's most pr-
em when Bo suddenly ex-
is ten years as coach,
er has acted like a true
He must be praised for
cool after Michigan's
ses in the Rose Bowl, and
traditional mid-season
ose setbacks would make
ut of control.
st avoid incidents like the
urred this week. Acts like
he sport's credibility, and
bad example to the
ism the sport is supposed
to the rest of the student
oes not want to become
oody Hayes. One was.

The reason's behind the Ann
Arbor School Board's decision
not to appeal a federal district
court's ruling against it in the
celebrated Black English case
are based. on divergent
educational philosophies.
The most obvious clue to these
differences is the Board's 5-4 vote:
in July to appeal the decision,
which was reversed in two sub'
sequent votes against appeal
when Board President Kathleen
Dannemiller cast the deciding
vote with liberal Board mem-
bers.
IN THE MEANTIME, school
Superintendent Harry Howard
strongly argues for appeal at the
mid-September Board meeting,
when the final vote was taken.
Included in Howard's presen-
tation was input from his staff
members, most of whom sup-
ported an appeal.
If the case had come to trial
when any of the six conservative'
school Boards were in power, fur-
ther litigation might have been
sought. But three liberals were
elected last June, balancing the
Board's partisan composition.
The Board's progressive fac-
tion emphasizes aid to disadvan-
taged students, while the conser-
vative posture leans toward
traditional, standardized
teaching methods. The Black
English suit reflected that con-
flict.
THE CASE originated in 1977,
when parents of 11 students at the
overwhelmingly white Martin
Luther King elementary school
charged that their child-en were
not being treated fairly. The
plaintiff children, who all resided
at the Green Housing project on
Ann Arbor's east side, were
reading far behind their grade
levels.
The plaintiff lawyers relied on
the Educational Opportunity Act
of 1974 during the trial, which or-
ders schools to help students
overcome language barriers.
Foreign language barriers
among Chicano and Chinese
students, impeded their ability to,
learn standard English in that
case.
In July, Federal District Court
Judge Charles Joiner ruled that
the dialect posed a language
barrier of which teachers should
be aware and should not destroy.
He recognized Black English is
the home language of its

By Judy Rakowsky

speakers and that students could
maintain it and still learn stan-
dard English.
THE JUDGE mandated that
the Board come- up with a plan
within 30 days in order to supply
teachers with sufficient Black
English background to help its
speakers. Developing the plan
and deciding whether to appeal
the judge's decision stressed the
philosphical dissimilarities of the
board.
Howard's argument supporting
an appeal, with which conser-
vative Board members generally
agreed, is based on opposition to
the extra effort, court interven-
tion and costs of providing an in-
service program to brief teachers
on the grammatical intricacies of
the dialect.
Those advocating appeal state
that research in development of
reading skills is inconclusive and
that the lack of proven success
stories for plans such as this
discredit the decision. If lack of
guaranteed proof of success con-
tinually obstructed progress in
education, would new methods
ever be experimented
adequately?
THE LOGIC of that argument
avoids seeking solutions to an ob-
vious need for special attention in
order to standardize instruction.
Teachers feared that in-
dividualizing instruction would
result in tracking and isolating
those who need it.
Fortunately,. the plan and the
judge recognize that separating
students only enhances cultural
and achievement schisms that
are already present.
Howard also rebuffs the
pressure to expand the teacher
awareness plan to other Ann Ar-
bor schools before it is proven.
The King School plaintiffs are
already in high school and will
not benefit by the plan that will be
impler'ented this school year.;
Proving this plan may take five
or ten years, and could result in
massive waste of young minds
while they are still mammeable,
the Board has pointed out that
many experts support the plan. If
they are confident in professional
support for it, the plan should be

applied to several schools as soon
as possible.
THE APPEAL argument also
claims that providing aid to these
children will amount to
discrimination. "Many
prominent black Americans have
spoken out on this issue and have
expressed concerns that it will
result in a setback in learning for
black children and in some in-
stances have even said it will
relegate theseestudents and
parents to second-class citizen-
ship," the argument to the board
states.
Howard stated, that Judge
Joiner's finding "simply affords
another generation of black
children, most especially the
plaintiff children, another
rationale and yet another excuse
for poor academic performan-
ce." Howard obviously missed
the judge's point that if schools do
not deal with these disparities
now, illiteracy will continue to'
climb unnecessarily. Another
discrepancy in Howard's
reasoning lies in his recognition
that poor academic performance
exists among Black English
speakers while discounting the
barrier the dialect poses as more
surimountable than that of a
foreign language.
The impressive group of
linguists and related experts who
testified for the plaintiffs
provided proof that Black
English constructs a barrier, so
the degree of difference between
it and one caused by a foreign
language seems irrelevant. ,
Howard's point also fails to
recognize the impetus for the
plan: to create sensitivity to
speakers of the dialect and to
play down any notion of second-
class citizenship. Surely, such
condescension is reinforced more
by labeling Black English
speakers with learning and
emotional impairments, as the
King school plaintiffs, than by
improving teachers' awareness
of the dialect's impact on lear-
ning. Likewise, the burden of
a9hievement can only be placed
upon the students if they are
armed adequately to succeed.
Howard also contends that
federal court intervention in

school districts results in th
Board's loss of autonomy in con-
trolling the curriculum. But if
that were a purpose of an appeal,
it seems ironic that the Board
would ask for more intervention,
risking further loss of self-
determination.
THE LIBERALS have argued
that the courts should intervene
only when school districts do not
deal sufficiently with a problem,
such as in the Brown vs. the
Board of Education Supreme
Court ruling.
The Board's plan for educating
teachers and hiring reading ex-
perts will cost $40,000 for one year
at one school. The appeal.
argument opposedhthis cost
because it would divert fund
from the majority of students
The liberals said the potentia
benefits to students far outwei
the extra expenditures.
Again, the conservativ(
position for appeal does not ac
count for the cost of litigation
which could lead to the Suprem
Court. If proponents of appea
truly opposed the decision, i
would seem that they would wan
to avoid a nationwide mandate t
aid Black English speaker
which could result from a highe
court ruling. Also, the federal ap
peals court in Cincinnati has
liberal reputation which probably
would weaken the legal standin
of thd case before the Suprem
Court.
Without an appeal, the Ian
dmark value of the case relies on
benevolent school officials here
in making the plan work, and
those throughout the system t(
consider disparate dialects t
improve learning. Likewise, th
decision buttresses the liberals
case for diversity and in
dividualized treatment of studen
ts.
It is hoped that teachers an
school officials can smooth ove
the discord the case ha
precipitated, and can unify t
benefit the students.
Ann Arbor can prove this pla
feasible and lead the battl
against illiteracy in this count
and possibly around the world.
Judy Rakowsky is the Daily'
City Editor.

image. professional.
But Hayes' exit into exile apparently keeping his
hasn't resolved the problem, as string of loss
demonstrated in an incident on this the team's
campus Monday. collapse. Tho
Bo Schembechler, who has fallen any man go o
victim to a few outbursts over the But Bo mu
years but has maintained a generally one that occu
cool composure, shoved a Daily repor- that injure th
ter who questioned the team's inability serve as1
to convert field goals during its first. professionali
four games. The Wolverines have to representI
made only one of ten attempts this body. He do
season. another W(
It's not too difficult to understand enough.
If C 146 GAME ~~
T E,!! oTN
DoA S
f /

/

Letters

Concert review was sexist

- - WY

Defusing a potential crisis

To the Daily:
I regret the homophobia and
sexism which was so evident in
Mary Finn's review of Meg.
Christian's concert, written un-
der the trivializing, sexist
headline: "Feminist Folkie:
Christian Fellowship." It is sad-
dening to see a woman journalist
mimic the male styles which
routinely degrade women's ac-
complishments.
First, her article begins with a
description of two women's affec-
tionate interactions. Never have
I seen a review of a performing
artist begin with a description of
affectionate interactions between
a male-female pair of concert
goers. The titillating sexual con-
tent of the introduction reminds
one of other forms of cheap jour-
nalism.
On to the second paragraph
where Finn slights the performer
of the warm-up set by neglecting
to even mention her name. Ann
Doyle performed three of her own
compositions beautifully and
plays regularly at the Salad
iCellar on Wednesday and Thur-
sday nights. Furthermore, the
"plug for women's music"
which Finn quickly dismisses
concerned the vital role of both
Olivia Records, a producer of
feminist music, and Oasis, the
commendable non-profit collec-
tive which made this and other
significant cultural events
possible. Neither did Finn deem
it impressive enough to even
mention that Christian's perfor-

teresting, but alas, Finn was too
taken up with Meg's "chatter"
and her facial expressions,
calling them "endearing and
childlike." Will the image of
women ever be separated from
that of children; Are empathic
and funny male performers ever
described as "endearing" "child-
like" and "charming"?
Finn is also obsessed with the
reaction of males and straight
women to lesbian-feminist music
tipping the reader off to her own
insecurities. She was so careful to
count the number of males
present. Wouldn't it be con-
sidered racist to count the num-
ber of whites attending a black
artist's performance? Why did
Finn find it important to state
that ".. straight men and
women may be intimidated and
confused by her music." Was it a
warning to keep straight people
away from future lesbian-
feminist cultural events?
It is my assessment that the
men and straight women who at-
tended the concert did so because
they appreciated Meg Christian's
music. To imply that the straight
audience was intimidated and
confused is an insult to that
audieance's sophisticated
awareness of Christian's talent.
Finn's insensitivity is revealed
by her account of Christian's
courage to openly discuss her
past life as an alcoholic and her
loving concern for her audience
by urging us to struggle to heal
ourselves. Finn can only call the

having sent a music Vri
pears that the Daily sent
to the concert. There'
wrong in noting that the
ce of the audiencev
ticularly warm and app
given the cohesion
women's communil
Christian's gift at de
audience rapport. Hoa
dwell on that aspec
detriment of a more
description of her musi
sult both the artist
audience.
In the future, the Dai
send a women-identifie
to cover the women
munity's cultural even
least one who has taken
in Women's Studies.
-Mart

itic, it ap-Irritated by the presence of the
t a voyeur Cuban deformed workers state,
s nothing the sabre-rattling senators want
e ambian- to turn the Caribbean back into
was par- an"American lake."
reciative, Ultimately, reconquest of all
of our the deglenerated/deformed
ty and workers states, most crucially
Iveloping the USSR, is the goal of all sec-
wever, to tions of the American
t to the bourgeoisie. We insist that Cuba
accurate has the right and duty to take all
c is to in- necessary measures-including
and the Soviet troops, planes, missiles
and anything else it can get its
ily should hand on-to defend the gains of
d reporter the revolution against bloodthirty
n's com- U.S. imperialism. U.S. out of
its-or at Guantanamo! For unconditional
a course military defense of the deformed
workers states against im-
t Bomnbyk perialism f
In contrast to the cofinter-
revolutionary Stalinist
bureaucrats and their U.S.
flunkes of the Communist Par-
Cuba ty/Young Workers Liberation
League who peddle illusory
disarmament schemes, we
realize there can be no peaceful
ver Wash- co-existence between the im-
of a 2000 perialists and the deformed and
"combat degenerated workers states. The
he biggest only real defense of the gains o
;ured im- these social revolutions will come
e Lyndon not through phony detente but
)nkin red 'through political revolution to
ds for full- oust these class collaborationist
nt in the Stalinist bureaucrats and replac
omething them with rule by the working
roops "or class through 4emocratically
partment elected soviets. Defense of
vincingly) working class property forms

N HIS measured response to the
issue of Soviet troops in Cuba,
President Carter has avoided turning
the diplomatic squabble into the inter-
national crisis that some doomsdayers
would like. Carter's announcements of
a military build-up in Key West and in-
creased surveillance of Cuba were
calculated to sound tough, to appease
those hardliners who would make the
Soviet presence in Cuba a test of the
United States' military resolve.
On the other hand, the president has
shown that he would not succumb to
the pressure from his right flank, to

Soviet competition can be played with
economic tools of advancements, not
the arsenal of weapons of destruction.
In his well-planned and well-thought
out response to this crisis that never
was, Mr. Carter succeeded in turning
the issue of Soviet troops to his own ad-
vantage. The President rightly pointed
out that such differences and
diplomatic quarrels are common in an
adversary relationship like the one
between the superpowers. Thus, the
treaty to limit strategic arms is all the
more important, to prevent one of
those squabbles from ever turning in-

To the Daily:
The Senate blow-up o
ington's "discovery"t
3000 strong Soviet
brigado" in Cuba is th
outburst'of manufact
perialist hysteria sinc
Johnson's Gulf of Ta
herring greased the ski
scale U.S. involveme
Vietnam War. Do s
about those Russian t
else," the State. De
blustered (not very con

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